A story about collaboration

How a group of five teachers came to present at ICTEV Conference on #TMMelb

Anyone who has read this blog before will know that I am passionate about the Teachmeet movement. My involvement has opened many doors to me and one of the most significant things has been the people I have met.

Earlier this year, at a de-brief session after a Teachmeet, one member (OK it was Mel) suggested that we could present about TM’s at the upcoming ICTEV conference. Everyone thought it was a great idea and as is customary in any group – one person was appointed, duly delegated, or dobbed in to the task of submitting the application (OK it was Mel again). Well it must have been done well as it was accepted and the proposal became a reality – we were set to present, but that was in May, that was ages away. A ‘planning session’ was allocated but the beautiful Japanese cuisine got in the way of the ‘planned’ planning, barring a few careful notes on a napkin. (Thanks Mel) The only real decision that night was that it should be a joint presentation. Teachmeets are after all, a shared, social event, so the presentation would reflect this.

So, it came down to a few weeks before the event and opportunities for a group planning session were getting slim. A face to face meeting was getting difficult to manage. Emails were flying to and fro. After all, these are busy educators and women, there are lessons to plan, reports to write, essays to complete etc. So what do any innovative, well rounded and resourced networked educators do ? They ‘hang-out’. Monday night, a fortnight before the conference, from lounge rooms, kitchen tables and bedrooms across suburban Melbourne a ‘virtual’ gathering occurred. Google Hangout proved a perfect arena for this chat and planning session. After the bestowing of fake moustaches, crowns and tiaras (a fun feature of hangouts – now I am wishing I had some screenshots to share!) we were down to the important business, working on many screens switching between a shared Google Presentation. A fine oiled machine soon had a set of ideas, designed and ordered. A plan was constructed! Elements were allocated to each member and that was that. We all attended to our allocated tasks and trusted that in the good old show business fashion, it would be alright on the night ! (or afternoon as was the case).

ICTEV tweets
I am pleased to report that it went very well. We stayed within our allocated 7 minute speed sharing limit, which is a practiced skill for any TeachMeet attendee. We shared our message and passion.

It was a delight to be part of this small piece of collaboration. Thanks to all involved. I wonder what we can do next ?

Come along to a TeachMeet event and become part of a wonderful group of people who want to share, question and challenge.

Our presentation – not the same without Brette’s questioning techniques!

6 Responses

  1. Margo Edgar says:

    Beautifully captured Celia. What next …. I wonder?

  2. brettelockyer says:

    How about “TeachMeet: The Musical” ?

  3. ccoffa says:

    Well there’s an idea Brette! As far as a collaborative effort, I am not sure I would have much to offer.

  4. janette says:

    Amazing how technology can solve a time management issue for collaboration.Celia, you always inspire me with you passion and clarity of purpose.

  5. brettelockyer says:

    Hello Celia
    Please excuse the flippant – but joyful – previous comment. As far as collaboration goes, our small project was a success because of the very fact we all had something to offer. The setting up of an online space -Google Docs – for our planning enabled a critical spin, and the capacity to consider the others’ points of view. It’s often difficult to do that in a face-to-face meeting. This respect is founded on social interaction – we’re good at that! Do you think it’s possible for a teacher to find their ‘voice’ at a Teachmeet, and then feel more empowered and confident back at their own school?
    cheers
    Brette

  6. ccoffa says:

    Thanks again Brette,
    I love ‘flippant’ as it is the spice of life. Your question about people finding a ‘voice’ at Teachmeet is wonderful. I really hope that people sense the supportive atmosphere that encourages their voice. I think we have seen examples of that over the years.
    Celia

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